Mike and his family came to Stillwater more than 26 years ago. Before his wife, Judy, retired, she taught high school and middle school language arts. Their children, Christi and Benjamin, are “Pony Graduates.” Christi graduated from UW-Madison and earned a Masters at Chatham University after serving two years in Americorp. She presently works as a supervisor in E-commerce at Dick’s Sporting Goods Corporate Headquarters in the Pittsburgh area, and recently completed an MBA at the University of Pittsburgh. Benjamin graduated from the University of Colorado and earned his Masters in architecture at the University of Minnesota. Recently he successfully completed seven post-graduate examinations to fully qualify for licensing as an architect in Minnesota.
From the fall of 2005 until 2010, Mike was a consultant with the Kern Family Foundation, whose founders are advocates for improving and preserving our country’s engineering and technology capabilities. Mike supported this goal by promoting Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a middle and high school pre-engineering program at local, regional, and state education and business meetings and through audits of PLTW schools (in MN, IA, WI, and IL). Six years ago Mike helped bring PLTW courses to Stillwater High School and the junior highs as well as St. Croix Catholic Elementary School.
Mike has over forty-five years of experience as a school board member, director of curriculum, principal, associate principal and teacher in Wisconsin and Minnesota. Along with his BS and MS, he earned a Ph D from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Educational Administration. Dr. Ptacek has taught, presented, and authored in the areas of organizational change, team leadership, program planning and evaluation, policy issues in urban education, transitioning from school to work, and career focused academies.